By: Bryant B-Boy Worthing @bboyworthing | Artist: Willie Joe @WillieJoeWB | Photos: Carlos Imani @carlosimani

Get with the getters, move with the movers. Those are the first words on the Doper album intro which truly define what Willie Joe is all about. He’s a true student of hip hop who has also helped many other artist develop their styles all while growing his own too.

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The journey has been one for the books, and the Bay Area rapper continues to add chapters to his rise from the underground scene toward national prominence. The work has been being put in since the early 2000s in the rap rich Bay Area scene where Willie’s influences ranged from E 40, Mac Dre, Too Short and Mac Mall. Those artists are only right since he was born in Oakland and raised in Vallejo places where local rap music is king. Having looked up to Mac Mall since 1993 when he released the West Coast classic album Illegal Business Willie always wanted to work with him, and he made that a reality after linking up with Mac Mall at show through mutual industry people.

“I didn’t know him personally growing up, but the album illegal business raised me,” Willie explained. “I A and R’d his new record Legal Business where I picked the beats and features helping the vision of Mac Mall’s new joint having a classic flavor over today’s production.”

Being able to executive produce, write and create his own music Willie Joe is proving to be an artist to look out for that is a jack of all trades and a valuable asset for the continuous competitive music scene in the Bay. He was partially born into this, at 12 years old he was in the “Tired of Being Stepped On” music video by E40 traces of his to be involvement in the rap game. The latest release of the Willie Joe catalog Doper has 21 tracks of all original heat with the key singles “Stunt Man” with solid spins on KMEL radio in the Bay Area and “Don’t Usually” which he considers a fan favorite in the college scene. Another key song for Willie’s reputation has been “I’m from the Bay Bruh” that even has a remix with a strong cast of Bay Area rappers on it, the song came out in 2014 and is still relevant today and is a certified classic California slapper already. 

“On this album I wanted to show my diversity, but I wanted to do it naturally. I basically just came off the first half of the Doper tour where I booked and financed it myself,” Willie said. “One of the other little facts going on with me is that I am merging into a mogul, just to be one hundred I am taking talent and helping to launch artists.”

In 2009 Willie had a deal in place with big time producer Jazzy Phe and moved to Atlanta for a year and some change working on music with the likes of B.o.B among many others. An experience that gave him another view of the game before coming back home to take his career to the next level. Now as CEO of Wataboy Music Group (WBMG) the growth and development is imminent with persistence being the key.

“It was a dope experience to really learn the business, me and Jaz still friends to this day he’s one of the dopest producers,” Willie explained. “When I moved to ATL I just wanted a deal, when I came back I had a different vision, I wanted to sign myself.” 

Make sure to peep his soundcloud and on Twitter and Instagram @WillieJoeWB you never no what city he will be in, what next artist he is shaping behind the scenes or when the next track will drop, but when you do find out it will definitely be doper every time.


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